Feature, News, Reviews

J.R.C.G. Signs to Sub Pop and Announces Album “Grim Iconic…(Sadistic Mantra)” out August 2nd & Shares New Single “Dogear”

May 14, 2024
Photo Credit: Anthony Beachemin

J.R.C.G. Signs to Sub Pop and Announces Album Grim Iconic…(Sadistic Mantra)

out August 2nd

Watch the Official Video for “Dogear”

On August 2ndJ.R.C.G. will release Grim Iconic…(Sadistic Mantra)’, the second album and Sub Pop debut from the Tacoma, WA-based artist Justin R. Cruz Gallego.

Conceived and executed primarily in Gallego’s home studio, Grim Iconic…(Sadistic Mantra)’ was co-produced by Gallego and Seth Manchester (The Body, Battles, and Mdou Moctar.) Together, they retained the intimacy of Gallego’s home recordings while taking advantage of the hi-fi stylings of Manchester’s Machines With Magnets Studio in Rhode Island. 

Driven by opposing forces, the album weds scouring electronics to hooky, powerful beats in a way that feels visceral and new.

The lead single, “Dogear,” is a face-melting party starter that sounds like Talking Heads and Rudimentary Peni forced to jam together. “I wanted a song that felt playful in the way it attempted to be dissonant without taking itself too seriously,” Gallego says. The accompanying video was directed by Dustin Houston and Sam Klickner.

Warning, the video contains a lot of fast flashing images/lights.

Immediately you are greeted with the brooding soundscape, fierce and punchy percussive elements roll through the creation with this immense energy, joined by the deep boisterous low end and then the almighty vocal notes.

This burning intensity takes hold of the direction and is fed through the shifts, the tonal choices and the alternating vocal notes that convey this broad appeal. The depth of the lyrics grating against that intensity results in this blazing arrangement. Innovative yet evocative, intriguing yet cutting. This is exhilarating on every level.

To experience Justin R. Cruz Gallego’s pulverising Sub Pop debut is to get burned down to ashes and burst forth, born anew. ‘Grim Iconic…(Sadistic Mantra)’, the Tacoma-based artist’s second album is driven by opposing forces: noisy abstractions and tightly structured beats, anguish and dissolution at the outside world and empowerment within, apathy and catharsis. At once playful and intent, driven and combustible, total fucking chaos mixed into glints of broken-glass beauty. 
Born in Tucson, Arizona, Gallego experienced culture shock as a child after relocating to the frigid climes of the Pacific Northwest. He found solace in the Seattle punk scene centered around Iron Lung Records and has since remained a fixture in the underground community.  
“I see this record as first and foremost a musical statement,” Gallego says. “I grew up in punk and DIY subcultures, but before that I had Latin music playing in the background through my childhood and every phase of adolescence. It was surprisingly natural to incorporate. I realized I wanted to go deeper into these rhythms. I wanted to make a record that felt as experimental as much as it felt from the perspective of a Latino. When I got a glimmer of that possibility, it felt exciting.”
Gallego’s influences for the album are vast, ranging from British documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis to electric Miles Davis to audio miscreants like Demdike Stare and Oneohtrix Point Never. But it’s Gallego’s assured sonic vision that resounds the loudest. And, while J.R.C.G. is a solo project, conceived and executed primarily in Gallego’s home studio, he found strength in opening the project to others, starting with Seth Manchester as co-producer. The album features a fascinating mix of supporting players, many of whom cycle through J.R.C.G.’s live lineup: Morgan Henderson (The Blood Brothers, Fleet Foxes), Jason Clackley (Dreamdecay, The Exquisites), Jon Scheid (Dreamdecay, U Sco), Erica Miller (Casual Hex, Big Bite), Veronica Dye (Terminator) Phil Cleary (U Sco), and Alex Gaziano (Dreamdecay, Kidcrash, Science Amplification). 
Taken as a whole, ‘G.I.S.M.’ is a whirlwind of sound, pummeling, and cleansing. It’s a sweaty, thrilling aural adventure and, like a great basement show, it’ll leave you breathless, exhausted, and wanting to repeat it all over again. As any good mantra should.
‘Grim Iconic…(Sadistic Mantra)’ is now available to preorder on CD, LP, and digital formats from Sub Pop. LP and CD preorders available at megamart.subpop.comselect North American Independent retailersEU/UK independent retail stores & Mega Mart 2 (the new, UK-based sibling site to the world-famous Sub Pop Mega Mart). Vinyl orders will receive the clear-vinyl Loser Edition while supplies last. 
J.R.C.G. will be opening for Mdou Moctar across the US, with headline dates to follow. See below for a full list of shows.

‘Grim Iconic…(Sadistic Mantra)’ track listing:
1. Grim Iconic
2. 34
3. Dogear
4. Drummy
5. Liv
6. Party People (Heaven)
7. Junk Corrido
8. Cholla Beat
9. World i 

J.R.C.G live dates:
Tue. Jun. 18 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall $
Wed. Jun. 19 – Detroit, MI – Magic Bag $
Thu. Jun. 20 –  Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom $
Fri. Jun. 21 – Buffalo, NY – Ashbury Hall $
Sun. Jun. 23 – Boston, MA- Paradise Rock Club $
Wed. Jun. 26 – Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw $
Thu. Jun. 27 – Washington, DC – 9:30 CLUB $
Fri. Jun. 28 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer $
Fri. Aug. 02 – Portland, OR – Polaris Hall
Sat. Aug. 03 – Seattle, WA  – Clock-Out Lounge
Thu. Aug. 15 – Reno, NV – Holland Project
Fri. Aug. 16 – San Fransisco, CA – Kilowatt Bar
Sun. Aug.18 Tucson – Congress
Tues. Aug. 20 – Austin, TX – Mohawk
Thu. Aug. 22- New Orleans, LA – Siberia
Fri. Aug. 23 – Atlanta, GA – 529
Sat. Aug. 24 – Nashville, TN – Hubba Hubba Tiki Tonk
Sun. Aug. 25 – Raleigh, NC –  Kings
Tue. Aug. 27 – Richmond, VA –  Warehouse
Wed. Aug. 28 – Washington, DC – Pie Shop
Fri. Aug. 30 – Providence, RI – AS220 
 $ w/ Mdou Moctar


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